Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix, though they represent different – somewhat contrasting genres – in music, are similar in a lot of ways. They’re two of the most prominent guitar wizards and part of the singer-songwriter category, of their respective eras. In addition, Marley and Hendrix were also reluctant and inevitable spokespersons for their generations. Furthermore, both can be considered as style icons in their own right, and represent – not that it’s really important – the total package of looks, talent, and charisma.
In more ways than one, Robert Nesta Marley was to reggae, what Johnny Allen Hendrix was to psychedelic rock. The former’s chill and scratchy palm-muted guitar strumming generates a groovy vibe, while the latter’s aggressive, mind numbing riffs takes us to sort of an orgasmic experience. Other than their apparent guitar mastery, they both have distinct singing voices that even up to this day have been the blueprint of many artists. These are all just the tip of the iceberg – so to speak – of Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix’s similarities, equally as musicians and as innovators. However, as we delve deep beyond their persona and sound, we’ll see that they are, what many people call, global influencers.
It’s easy to recognize Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix’s significance from a musical point of view. They’re both legends – that’s a fact. Even until now, their image and likeness remain so important, that they’re still used in various industries outside music.
For one, Bob Marley’s face is still imprinted on millions of shirts around the world. Also, he’s one the most recognizable faces of Rastafarian belief – a group that combines music with a sense of spirituality – and remains as a vital part of the modern Jamaican culture. A couple of years back, Reggae Steady Ska even reported a series of modern jazz tribute concerts in the country to Bob Marley and The Wailers’ Catch a Fire – the record that turned him into a global superstar. Jimi Hendrix, for his part, aside from his timeless albums and iconic persona, has been the basis of various digital endeavors. He plays the lead in an Adventure Game Studio murder-mystery title, as well as an online slot machine game simply called Jimi Hendrix on Slingo. Basically, despite them being gone for decades now, anyone from casual to diehard music fans can still relate to their respective core principles, faiths, and even characters.
At the end of the day, Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix transcend time without ever trying. They let their music do the talking, speaking to the hearts of millions around the globe in an honest, brutally passionate way. That’s the thing with today’s music, many artists become so blinded by the glitz and glamor of chart topping singles, album sales, and Spotify hits, that they tend to forget their roots and focus on trivial things. So if there’s one substantial denominator between Bob Marley’s reggae and Jimi Hendrix’s psychedelic rock, it’s the effortlessness of conveying a greater message, while providing head-banging beats that stand the test of time.